O’FALLON, MO (KMOV.com) – A 21-year-old repairman from St. Charles is accused of tying up a woman and sexually assaulting her at her own home in O’Fallon on Wednesday.
James Helderle has been charged with forcible sodomy, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, felonious restraint and armed criminal action.
According to police, officers received a call around 12:41 a.m. from a man asking them to check on his girlfriend at her apartment in the 1000 block of Southernside Lane. Police said he was on the phone with her when Helderle broken into her home.
The victim told police after Helderle broke in, he grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground. He then handcuffed and tied her up, telling her if she moved she would strangle herself.
Police said Helderle placed an item in her mouth to quiet her and covered her head with a pillow. He then grabbed her cell phone and cash.
According to police, he fondled her upper body and sexually assaulting her.
Police said when they arrived to the scene and knocked on the door, Helderle took out a knife and put it on the victim’s throat to silence her.
He then ran out of the apartment by jumping from the second-floor balcony.
Police said they eventually got into the apartment and found the victim bound and gagged.
Authorities searched for a couple hours and eventually apprehended Helderle, who later admitted to breaking in and sexually assaulting the victim.
Police said Helderle, who works for Communications Unlimited, had been in the victim’s apartment on Tuesday as a Charter cable contract worker.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Charter officials said they were upset with the incident.
“Charter recognizes that it is a privilege to be allowed into customers’ homes to install our services. Our customer’s safety is of utmost importance and precautions are taken seriously. We require criminal background checks on all in-home contractors prior to performing any work for Charter. We are cooperating fully with the O’Fallon Police Department and will do everything possible to aid in this investigation.”